VFMA Covid19 Risk Management Processes

Food markets are classed as essential gatherings and we're working hard to make sure that our accredited Victorian farmers' markets can continue to trade, and that people can continue to buy food from farmers.  As the situation changes, we continue to review and adapt our risk management guidelines and share them with our members and State Government.  A summary of these guidelines may be seen, below. A copy of our risk management guidelines may be requested via email.

Minister for Agriculture, Jaclyn Symes stated on ABC's Country Hour that she would "like to see farmers' markets remain open. Supermarkets are open and ... the same thing should apply to farmers' markets. I attend my monthly farmers' market. [...] A lot of them are moving to online platforms or facilitating pick-ups, and I would hope that that really supports those hardworking producers."

Accredited Victorian farmers' markets are more than simply places to exchange goods for money, and we are committed to seeing them continue, embrace these challenges, and recover post-Covid19.

Markets within the next week

Accredited MarketsOnNear Me
Castlemaine Farmers' Market8/5/2020Castlemaine60353766-4229-41e1-b842-30ebc61c3194
Bendigo Community Farmers' Market8/6/2020Bendigo64c38728-a609-432a-8734-361c7ffd105e
Wangaratta Farmers Market (pick-up market)8/8/2020Wangaratta3ac4024b-2f36-4278-a3df-4aced25d62ed
Coburg Farmers' Market8/8/2020COBURG4fd45e43-4b57-49a1-b2d8-e7fd61c2a9b4
Collingwood Children's Farm Farmers' Market8/8/2020Abbotsford4f9dd90c-5404-4a89-a34e-22bf04a1b86b
Elwood Farmers' Market8/8/2020Highton3a8d7fc9-fc0b-40c7-855d-40c1e1cfea45
Farmers Market @ The Old Cheese Factory8/8/2020Berwickdbe282dc-b8d4-4051-a45d-36c9454f48d2
Bendigo Community Farmers' Market8/8/2020Bendigo64c38728-a609-432a-8734-361c7ffd105e
Alphington Farmers' Market8/9/2020Alphingtone9bb386f-40fb-44ef-81cb-d7921ed7f99d
Eltham Farmers' Market8/9/2020Elthamf7339a48-e0d5-42a0-a73a-111f2aaf9809
Flemington Farmers' Market (pick-up market)8/9/2020Flemington4e2038d7-43dd-426b-b1cb-2eebe0f7904a

Summary: VFMA Risk Management Guide for accredited Victorian farmers’ markets as essential food markets 

Government directives, reviewed 03/08/20

  • Victoria’s Restriction Levels
    • Stay at Home Directions (Restricted Areas) (No 7)
    • Restricted Activity Directions (Restricted Areas) (No 5)
    • Directions - Restricted activity (No 16)
    • Directions - Stay Safe (No 9)

Key changes:  

  • Stage 4 restrictions are in place across metropolitan Melbourne.
  •  From 11:59pm on 5 August, stage three restrictions apply throughout regional Victoria [including Mitchell Shire]. 

Relevant information for markets and traders 03/08/20

In all areas:

  • Everyone must wear a face covering when leaving home, except where exemptions exist (refer to Stay at Home Directions (Restricted Areas) (No 7) or Stay Safe Directions (No 9) for details).
  • People are allowed to travel for work, into, through and out of the Restricted areas
    • The 5km travel restriction does not apply to those travelling for work, but that travel mustn’t be ‘unreasonable’
    • Those travelling out of the Restricted Area [Melbourne] for work are still required to follow all directions for the Restricted Areas 
      • (ref: Stay at Home Directions (Restricted Areas)(No 7))

In restricted areas:
A market stall (whether indoor or outdoor) in a Restricted Area may only operate that stall if its predominant business is the provision of food and drink for consumption off the premises of the market.
A market is only permitted to consist of market stalls that provide food and drink for consumption off the premises of the market.

Outside restricted areas: 
Indoor and outdoor market stalls for both food and non-food are permitted to trade.


Anyone feeling unwell must not attend farmers’ markets

Market organisers, stallholders and shoppers should familiarise themselves with the latest food safety and coronavirus management guidelines before attending markets.

Guidelines for Farmers’ Market Organisers

Controlling patronage numbers and stall density
1. Market organisers should be able to count & control the number of patrons on site at any time to ensure the current density quotient requirement of 4 square metres per person is being met.

Ensuring social distancing

2. Market managers should provide clear signage, ground markings and announcements to enforce social distancing of 1.5 metres

3. Market managers should eliminate entertainment and gathering points to limit density and exposure times.

Reducing transmission risks

4. Market managers should ensure they are compliant with current cleaning requirements

5. Market managers should ensure accessible hand washing and/or sanitising facilities are provided around the market to stallholders and shoppers

6. Where possible, market managers should not allow shoppers to enter the market before the opening time

Guidelines for Farmers’ Market Stallholders

Ensuring social distancing

7. Stallholders should arrive with enough time to set up the stall with consideration for social distancing layout

8. Stallholders should remind their customers about social distancing

9. Stalls with multiple staff members should also maintain social distancing in accordance with State guidelines

10. Stallholders should clearly label produce and prices for shoppers to be able to see to minimise crowding around the stall

Reducing transmission risks

11. Stallholders should have hand sanitiser or adequate hand wash facilities clearly accessible

12. Where possible, stallholders should ensure they are set-up to take card payments

13. Where possible, stallholders should avoid handling cash 

14. Ready-to-eat stalls may only provide take-away food

15. Stallholders should advise customers that, to minimise transmission risks, they may not handle produce

Our Promise:

To support local farmers by inspiring and enabling Victorians to buy fresh, wholesome, locally grown produce from VFMA Accredited Farmers' Markets.

Accredited farmers' markets provide an opportunity for our farmers to sell direct and take full credit for their efforts. By shopping at authentic farmers' markets customers are guaranteed access to quality, freshly harvested produce whilst supporting local farmers and directly putting money back into regional Victorian communities. Accreditation »


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